The BCCI is all set to organize the first-ever Women’s IPL prior to the men’s IPL which takes place in late March and early April this year. Furthermore, this is also the first of its kind tournament ever and the Board has asked the selectors to create a pool of women’s players for the tournament.
According to a report in Cricbuzz, the pool will consist of both Indian and foreign players. The BCCI has given the go-ahead to prepare the tender for the franchise auction and media rights and both are expected to come out soon. The franchise auction will follow the media rights tender, the reports states further.
Here, it must be noted that Women’s IPL (WIPL) is first such tournament of its kind. The Women’s Big Bash League(WBBL)-the only notable women’s cricket franchise tournament, doesn’t operate on auction model.
Since the WIPL franchisees will pick their teams through the available talent, a sufficient players pool to choose from is a necessity. Earlier BCCI used to hold the Women’s T20 challenge, a three-team affair that had four games each. The tournament was played between IPL league stage and before the commencement of IPL Playoffs.
Earlier News 18 Cricketnext had reported how the BCCI, looking to auction five franchises for the upcoming women’s T20 league starting March 2023 by way of a closed tender, has kept the base price at Rs 400 crore (USD 50m approx.).
The cricket board has arrived at this decision by taking into account the value of the costliest franchise that was sold back in 2007-08 – Mumbai Indians at USD 111.9m (approx. Rs 446 cr) at Rs 40 / dollar.
The Board expects franchise to be sold between Rs 1000 and Rs 1500 crore, or even more, depending on the kind of interest the auction generates once the tender document is out. However, nobody is ready yet to speak about these expectations on record.
“The winning franchise will pay the ownership fees to the BCCI over a period of five years in equal instalments and continue to own the property for perpetuity, like in the men’s IPL,” add those in the know.
The BCCI has asked the existing men’s IPL team owners to participate in the bidding but the tender process is open to any and all investors who meet the cricket board’s minimum eligibility criteria. There is no guarantee whatsoever that should the bid of an existing IPL franchise owner and a new investor match, any preference shall be given to the existing franchise owner.